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Financial Assistance

(International students, click here)

Domestic Students

Financial aid may not be as easily obtained for graduate work as it was for undergraduate work.  Undergraduate students have a plethora or scholarships and grants which may be available to them upon application.  For graduate students, receiving financial aid is still possible but may require alternative steps.

Graduate students are automatically considered independent for financial aid purposes and do not qualify for federal or state grants and scholarships.  In addition, graduate students are more likely to enroll part-time.  These situations can affect the amount and timely delivery of financial aid eligibility.  Students must apply for financial aid every academic year.

Applying for Financial Aid

Below is a general outline of tasks that students must complete to be eligible for financial assistance.

  • Students should complete their Federal Income Tax returns as soon as possible after January 1st.  
  • Hint: Students should make extra copies of their Federal Income Tax return and W2s in case they are required to submit them to BSU for verification.  
  • Once the student's tax forms are complete, the information can be transferred to the student's FAFSA application.  Students may complete a hard copy (Financial Aid Office) or electronic copy (www.fafsa.ed.gov) of the FAFSA application.  For ease of information transfer, students should include BSU's School Code: 002336.
  • Students will also need to complete the BSU Financial Aid Application each year that they hope to receive financial aid.  The form can be located at the Financial Aid website under "Forms." 
  • Due to the amount of information pertaining to financial assistance, please visit the Financial Aid website for further details.

Graduate Assistantships

Students who need assistance in funding their graduate education should consider the possibility of a graduate assistantship.  Students who are awarded an assistantship receive a stipend, plus a tuition waiver of six (6) credits per semester during the academic year.  Typical assignments might be teaching introductory classes, working as lab or research assistants, or serving in specific administrative offices of the University.  In general, graduate students are expected to carry a minimum of six (6) credit hours per semester and complete fourteen (14) hours of work per week in their assistantships.

Regardless of their place of residence, graduate assistants pay in-state tuition and fees.  Students are responsible for the cost of all student fees.  Assistantships are financed out of the general University budget, department funds, or external grants, which could affect student loan eligibility.  Students seeking need-based loans from the University's financial aid office for additional costs may find the total amount they can borrow reduced by the tuition assistance of their graduate assistantship.

Note: While the School of Graduate Studies designates that 6 credit hours per semester is a full-time load for graduate assistants, the Financial Aid office recognizes that federal loans are based on a load of 9 credit hours per semester.  If graduate students wish to receive financial assistance beyond a graduate assistantship, they will need to complete nine (9) credit hours per semester for a full-time load and no less than five (5) credit hours per semester for a half-time load to remain eligible for additional financial aid.

To apply for a graduate assistantship, students must complete the following:

  1. Be admitted to a specific program in the School of Graduate Studies
  2. Seek out graduate assistantship positions that are currently available or will become available for the following academic year (see the School of Graduate Studies website or Graduate Catalog for more details).
  3. Follow the application process designated by the assistantship supervisor/contact person (see the School of Graduate Studies website or Graduate Catalog for more details).  Most students send a resume/vita, letters of reference, and a cover letter/letter of intent to the office in which they seek employment.
  4. Graduate Assistantships must be able to be tied back to your graduate program at BSU.

Note: While graduate students participate in a graduate assistantship, they are not eligible to work in other departments or positions on campus unless it is part of their current assistantship position (e.g. the assistantship time is split between two offices, but the student is only receiving one total award).  This excludes departments run by off-campus companies, such as food services and the BSU book store

For additional information, including the guidelines of possible Summer Assistantships, please see the Graduate Catalog or visit the School of Graduate Studies website.

Other Financial Assistance

Loans

The most prominent source of financial assistance for graduate students is loans.  Like undergraduate students, graduate students are eligible for federal loans.  Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application each year to be eligible for federal financial assistance.  Priority is awarded to those students who meet the spring deadline for the coming academic year.

Due to the amount of information pertaining to financial assistance, including additional loan options and detailed instructions, please visit the Financial Aid website.

On-Campus Employment

While graduate students participate in a graduate assistantship, they are not eligible to work in other departments or positions on campus. This excludes departments run by off-campus companies, such as food services and the BSU book store.  Graduate students not participating in a graduate assistantship may work in other departments or positions on campus that are not designated for federal work-study (e.g. as student workers, adjuncts, etc.).

Scholarships and Grants

Occasionally there are scholarships available for graduate students within a specific academic program or field.  Due to the amount of information pertaining to financial assistance, including accurate scholarship information and detailed instructions, please visit the Financial Aid website.

This grant is awarded to undergraduate and graduate students admitted into a high-need subject area with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher. Within 8 years of completing/ceasing their program the student must teach full-time for four years in their high-need area in a designated low income school or the TEACH Grant will become an unsubsidized loan with accrued interest. Additional information can be found in the TEACH Grant Information Sheet and the Application. For more information or an application, visit the Financial Aid website.
  • Graduate Student Mini-Grant
Awards of up to $400 each are available to graduate students who are in good standing, are fully matriculated, and are ready to pursue research for their cumulative paper/project. The opportunity for this grant is dependent upon the amount of funds made available each year.  Students are notified through the School of Graduate Studies website each semester that Graduate Student Mini-Grants become available.  For more information, continue to watch the School of Graduate Studies website.

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International Students

Financial assistance for international students is limited to graduate assistantships, non-need based scholarships available to other graduate students, or other on-campus jobs not regulated to federal work study.  International students are not eligible to receive federal or state loans and grants.

Graduate Assistantships

Students who need assistance in funding their graduate education should consider the possibility of a graduate assistantship.  Students who are awarded an assistantship receive a stipend, plus a tuition waiver of six (6) credits per semester during the academic year.  Typical assignments might be teaching introductory classes, working as lab or research assistants, or serving in specific administrative offices of the University.  In general, graduate students are expected to carry a minimum of six (6) credit hours per semester and complete fourteen (14) hours of work per week in their assistantships. 

Regardless of their place of residence, graduate assistants pay in-state tuition and fees.  Students are responsible for the cost of all student fees.  Assistantships are financed out of the general University budget, department funds, or external grants, which could affect student loan eligibility.  Students seeking need-based loans from the University?s financial aid office for additional costs may find the total amount they can borrow reduced by the tuition assistance of their graduate assistantship.

Note: While the School of Graduate Studies designates that 6 credit hours per semester is a full-time load for graduate assistants, the Financial Aid office recognizes that federal loans are based on a load of 9 credit hours per semester.  If graduate students wish to receive financial assistance beyond a graduate assistantship, they will need to complete nine (9) credit hours per semester for a full-time load and no less than five (5) credit hours per semester for a half-time load to remain eligible for additional financial aid.

To apply for a graduate assistantship, students must complete the following:

  1. Be admitted to a specific program in the School of Graduate Studies
  2. Seek out graduate assistantship positions that are currently available or will become available for the following academic year (see the School of Graduate Studies website or Graduate Catalog for more details).
  3. Follow the application process designated by the assistantship supervisor/contact person (see the School of Graduate Studies website or Graduate Catalog for more details).  Most students send a resume/vita, letters of reference, and a cover letter/letter of intent to the office in which they seek employment.
  4. Graduate Assistantships must be able to be tied back to your graduate program at BSU.

Note: While graduate students participate in a graduate assistantship, they are not eligible to work in other departments or positions on campus unless it is part of their current assistantship position (e.g. the assistantship time is split between two offices, but the student is only receiving one total award).  This excludes departments run by off-campus companies, such as food services and the BSU book store.

For additional information, including the guidelines of possible Summer Assistantships, please see the Graduate Catalog or visit the School of Graduate Studies website.

Other Financial Assistance

In-State Tuition

International students automatically receive the in-state tuition rate.

On-Campus Employment

While graduate students participate in a graduate assistantship, they are not eligible to work in other departments or positions on campus. This excludes departments run by off-campus companies, such as food services and the BSU book store.  Graduate students not participating in a graduate assistantship may work in other departments or positions on campus that are not designated for federal work-study (e.g. as student workers, adjuncts, etc.). 

Scholarships

There are currently no known non-need based scholarships for graduate students.

Graduate Student Mini-Grants

Awards of up to $400 each are available to graduate students who are in good standing, are fully matriculated, and are ready to pursue research for their cumulative paper/project. The opportunity for this grant is dependent upon the amount of funds made available each year.  Students are notified through the School of Graduate Studies website each semester that Graduate Student Mini-Grants become available.  For more information, continue to watch the School of Graduate Studies website.

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